(Rick Hickman / Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Tuesday, October 09, 2012 11:15 AM
While incidents of malnourished horses represent an ongoing issue in Calcasieu Parish, the head of the Calcasieu Parish Animal Services and Adoption Center said his department is working to restore the animals’ health and eventually put them in good homes.
“This is a real problem (that) we’re starting to make inroads in,” said Nathan Areno, the department’s director. “We’re one of the few parishes in the state, if not the only one, that has a comprehensive program like this.”
The horses are taken to property on Broad Street and put into a rehabilitation program, where Areno said they are checked by a veterinarian and given a healthy diet. He said Animal Services officials picked up two malnourished horses last week. The department has two locations where they care for the horses.
“Once (the horses) make it there, then there’s hope for them,” Areno said.
Once they have recovered, the department puts them up for adoption. He said more than 20 horses have been adopted since last year.
Areno said the department continues finding malnourished horses for several reasons. They include owners not being able to afford the rising cost of horse feed and other supplies, or neglect. He said the market value of horses has declined, making them easier to purchase, and also harder to sell.
“A moderate bag of horse feed — which is around 50 pounds — is at least $10,” he said. “That will last about five days.”
To report a malnourished or sick horse, call Animal Services at 721-3730. If a healthy horse gets loose, call the Calcasieu Sheriff’s Department at 491-3605.